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Strengths of the Program

Strengths of the Program: Purpose, Rigor, Impact

The PhD Program in Strategic Management prepares students for research-oriented careers. The structure of the program reflects, on the one hand, its interdisciplinary philosophy, and on the other hand, our belief in rigorous discipline-based training.

In a world characterized by political instability, rapid technological, economic and social change, and a dramatic increase in the availability of information, the strategic management of organizations is becoming increasingly vital to their success and their ability to play a positive role in society. Therefore, rigorous research in strategy is more and more socially relevant, and so is the education of future business leaders.


The PhD Program in Strategic Management at Rotman aims to prepare scholars that will successfully take on these challenges. The program has some major strengths:


  • An ideal combination of an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems, and rigorous, discipline-based training and research (primarily in economics and sociology).


  • A world-class faculty at the frontier of research in such areas as technological innovation, industry evolution, entrepreneurship in the developed and developing world, social capital and social networks, corporate governance, outsourcing and alliances, entrepreneurship for the public good, ethics in organizations and markets, and inequality in organizations and society.


  • A high faculty-student ratio that favors interactions and collaborations on research projects. Each student has a faculty mentor for the first year. Students begin discussing research with their mentor from the outset of the program with the goal of beginning a project by the summer after the first year. At the end of the first year, the faculty mentor can become the supervisor for the second-year paper, or the student and the mentor identify a different supervisor who is closer to the research interests of the students at that point. The close interaction with faculty will better enable students to conduct their projects once they have completed their coursework.


  • Close connections with other departments and schools, such as Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Industrial Relations, Computer Science and Psychology; as well as with centres within Rotman, such as Behavioral Economics in Action, Gender and the Economy, and the Creative Destruction Lab.


  • Full funding for all PhD students through a financial aid package that fully covers tuition and provides an attractive stipend that can continue for up to five years in the program.


  • A location in the heart of Toronto, North America’s most diverse city and third-largest financial centre, with important clusters in such sectors as aerospace, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, health and biotech.


Core courses led by Rotman faculty focus on understanding the Strategic Management literature, research questions and techniques. In addition, all Rotman Strategic Management students take doctoral-level courses in economics, sociology, and quantitative methods. Outside of these core requirements, students are able to develop a specialized program of study that meets their individual objectives.